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Music Industry Moves: Arooj Aftab Attorney Matt Cuttler Named Partner at Rothenberg, Mohr & Binder

Matt Cuttler
Courtesy Matt Cuttler

The entertainment law firm Rothenberg, Mohr & Binder has named Matt Cuttler (pictured) partner. The New York-based attorney joined the firm in 2018, when it was founded. His client roster includes Arooj Aftab, who’s nominated for best new artist at the upcoming 2022 Grammy Awards, as well as the artists 100 Gecs, Animal Collective and PnB Rock; producers Pop Wansel and Y2K; mixers Jeff Ellis and Matt Cohn; and composers The Haxan Cloak/Bobby Krlic, Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein; among others.

Thursday, Dec. 9

+ Warner Chappell Music publishing has named Christine Belden to the newly created role of vice president and global head of film, tv and media music. She will report to Rich Robinson, EVP and global sync and media original music.

In her new role, Belden will oversee acquisitions with a focus on broadcast rights in the film and television industry, according to the announcement. She joins WCM from Kobalt Music where she oversaw creative and strategy for its global film and television music division. She was previously a CAA agent and began her career working with producer Glen Ballard at Java/ Capitol Records.

Belden said: “I’m super excited to be joining Warner Chappell as the company heightens its focus on the ever-evolving publishing space within the film and television industry. I’ve been working with music supervisors, composers, and producers throughout my career, so I’m looking forward to developing new opportunities in this space with WCM’s global resources.”

Robinson added: “We are delighted to have Christine join the team as we continue to expand our global capabilities in the Sync space. Her integral knowledge of the entertainment industry brings a level of expertise that will help us develop new, synergistic opportunities between our songwriters and film and television clients.

+ ADA Worldwide, Warner Music Group’s independent label and artist services arm, has named Sam Juneman head of marketing & services and Andrea Slobodien as its first-ever head of product & integration. Both Juneman and Slobodien will be based on the West Coast and report directly to ADA President Cat Kreidich.

In addition to these appointments, Ty Teixeira joins ADA from DistroKid as VP of operations, reporting to Slobodien.

The news follows the recent appointment of Marcus Siskind to head of U.S., overseeing business development and label management and Adriana Sein to head of international.

Juneman comes to ADA after close to a decade at Universal Music Group, most recently as VP of music strategy & tactics. Prior to joining ADA, Slobodien held senior roles at ProGuides, DistroKid, and Smule.

“We’ve had many conversations about ADA’s reinvention, about how we evolve to better serve our artists and label partners. A big part of that is making sure we’re properly set up to be agile, work efficiently, and collaborate across the organization to drive real impact,” said Kreidich. “It was important that we brought in people who share in our vision for the future, with a tech-forward approach and an unwavering commitment to the indie community.”

Wednesday, Dec. 8

UTA today announced six new additions to its Nashville headquarters. Emily LaRose, Marissa Smith, Elisa Vazzana join as music agents, Amy Lynch joins the Comedy Touring division as an agent, Brandi Brammer will serve as senior HR business partner, and Emily Wright joins as a music brand partnerships agent. The announcement follows on the heels of the recent hiring announcements of Nashville-based Scott Clayton as co-head of global music, Matthew Morgan as co-head of UTA Nashville, and Buster Phillips as a rock agent.

“We are honored to welcome this powerhouse group of industry professionals into our Music City headquarters,” said David Zedeck, partner and co-head of global music. “The collective breadth and scope of our new colleagues will be a tremendous addition as we continue to expand our footprint in Nashville and beyond.”

Emily LaRose joins the agency with close to 10 years’ experience working across multiple genres; she comes to UTA from WME and previously worked at CAA and APA. Marissa Smith has worked with clients such as JP Saxe, Gayle and and Daniel Blume; she also joins from WME. Elisa Vazzana joins as a music agent in the country fair and festival space; most recently she worked at CAA for over 14 years. Amy Lynch and Brandi Brammer also join from UME, and Emily Wright was previously with CAA’s music brand partnerships department for nearly 10 years.

+ Quality Control announced today the addition of Lauren Walsh as executive VP of branding and marketing at Solid Foundation Management, the management services arm of Quality Control. With over 20 years of experience in the world of brand strategy and sports marketing, Walsh has worked with a wide array of NFL, NBA, and MLB players.

Quality Control co-founder Pierre “P” Thomas says, “Lauren has a strong passion for giving back to the next generation of young men and women who want to build successful long-term careers in sports and entertainment. Her passion for aligning talent with high quality brands that share their values perfectly aligns with the principles that are the foundation of Quality Control.”

+ Rod “PushaRod” Bullock, a veteran of YG’s 4Hunnid company and a former Interscope Records A&R exec, has opened a recording studio called Creative Soundz in Los Angeles — head here for more details.

Tuesday, Dec. 7

UTA has signed Poison frontman Bret Michaels in all areas.

“Bret Michaels is a true multi-hyphenate. From music and branding, to sports and reality tv he brings 1000% to all his business endeavors and we are honored to welcome him to our roster,” said David Zedeck, partner and co-head of global music. “Bret is an enduring superstar whose impact on the entertainment landscape has continuously grown and remained relevant throughout his career.”

Michaels added, “I am honored and excited to sign and partner with UTA.  Their forward thinking, big picture vision, work ethic and energy is the perfect match for my have fun and get it done, bet on yourself mentality.”

+ Warner Chappell Music, the global publishing arm of Warner Music Group, has entered into a publishing partnership with Connection Music Publishing, a newly formed publishing entity created by Glassnote Records founder Daniel Glass.

Jackie Post has been named the new venture’s head of publishing; the first songwriter signed to Connection Music under this joint venture is Edie Bens, a 21-year-old songstress from Wales whose debut release is due out next year.

Warner Chappell Music Co-Chair/ CEO Guy Moot and Co-Chair/ COO Carianne Marshall said: “Glassnote has created a world-renowned record label with Grammy Award winning artists like Mumford & Sons and Phoenix as part of its repertoire, and that strong legacy of serving as a home to some of the best in the music business is sure to continue with Glass’s latest venture, Connection Music Publishing. With Jackie Post at the helm, we couldn’t be more excited to be in business with this team.”

Glass said, “My long-time friendship and professional relationship with Carianne and Guy has now come full circle. We are proud to be working with their stellar team to help our songwriters grow.”

+ QC Sports, sister company of the Atlanta-based powerhouse Quality Control Music, has announced the launch of its new QC Sports Basketball Division. The company also announced the addition of veteran agent Derrick Powell as global head of basketball. As one of his first accomplishments at QC Sports in 2021, Powell has successfully negotiated the
5 year $100M dollar contract extension of veteran center Jarrett Allen with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to the announcement.

Quality Control co-founder Kevin “Coach K” Lee says, “Partnering with an industry veteran that has the experience, credibility, proven track record and commitment to clients that Derrick has is perfectly aligned with the QC Sports brand.”

Powell notes, “QC is the most authentic brand in today’s culture. I am truly honored and beyond excited to be a part of the amazing team that Coach and P have built at QC Sports. But mostly I am ready to get to work and continue to build on the legacy of Quality Control.”

+ Universal Music Publishing Group has promoted Lillia Parsa senior VP of A&R. Based in Santa Monica, she will continue reporting to David Gray and Walter Jones, co-heads of A&R. Parsa represents a roster of songwriters including Louis Bell, Billy Walsh, Omer Fedi, Blake Slatkin, Nija, Julia Michaels, Cirkut, Brian Lee, Tierra Whack, Lil Tecca, Surfaces, Gracie Abrams and Jimmy Napes — several of whom were honorees at Variety’s Hitmakers awards last weekend.

Gray and Jones jointly said: “It has been our pleasure to see Lillia become one of the most successful publishers in the music industry. Her ability to both sign and develop talented writers and producers is reflected in her chart successes over the past four years.”

+ On the heels of their label partnership, Fader Distribution has now officially launched in partnership with Virgin. Fader Distribution is currently hosting five artists: Kim Tee, Origami Human, Eddie Burns, Pauli The PSM and Slaters.

Fader CEO and co-founder says, “As we continue to expand and see success with Fader Label, there has been strong inbound interest from the independent artist community in what we are offering. It has been incredible to be able to help truly deserving artists get started. We set up Fader Distribution to create a tier of service to aid independent artists that are in the very early stages of their development.”

+ Entertainment and media collective 3V Method has announced its partnership with Sony Music Publishing to sign publishing deals with its artists/songwriters Sean Leon and Erick Serna. Leon is a co-writer of Justin Bieber’s “Peaches” and Serna has cowritten songs for Dnce, Sia, Kelly Clarkson and others.

3V Method CEO Alex Valenti says, “This partnership with Sony Music Publishing allows him to further propel his creation process to a new level. I am excited to have Katie Welle and Will Skalmoski as key members of this team. This is going to be a big year for Sean and team and I’m grateful to be part of the journey!”

+ Artist development company Godmode, which works with suchs artists as JpegMafia and Channel Tres, has launched a publishing company in a joint venture with Hipgnosis Songs Group. Under the joint venture, Godmode and Hipgnosis Songs have been developing TikTok star Emmy Hartman.

“Songs are the atomic unit of what we do,” says Talya Elitzer, who co-founded the company with Nick Sylvester. “Just like our artist work, we’re looking forward to surfacing and cultivating the kinds of songwriters who change what a song is allowed to do.”

+ Create Music Group has appointed Yoko Ihaza VP of legal affairs and Jason Zerden VP of business development. Ihaza will report to chief legal officer Jon Atzen, while Zerden will report to chief strategy officer Sameen Singh. Ihaza joins Create after stints at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP and Sklar Kirsh LLP; Zerden comes from Stem Disintermedia and prior roles at CAA and Virgin.

“Yoko brings with her incredible negotiating skills and deep connections in the artist community,” said Singh. “Jason has a proven track record in working with major artists and brands. Together they form a new core deals team at Create that will play a pivotal role in our expansion plans.”

+ The Syndicate has announced several promotions in its marketing department, with department head Amy Tremmel becoming VP of marketing & events and new director roles for Julia Galvin (marketing) and Kim Williams (digital marketing). Other marketing title bumps include Katelynn Donohue (senior manager, digital marketing), Molly Brooks (senior manager, digital marketing & creative), Josh Goldfeder (senior manager, marketing), Lindsey McLemore (marketing manager) and Max Falvey (marketing manager).